Transmission Nov 23th 2518 – 1335UST
AT: Mr. Potemkin, I am not used to getting a wave from you, way out here.
JP:I had business that brought me to Kalidasa, while I was in the neighborhood, I thought I would check in, see if there is any more business to be had.
AT: I don't feel comfortable talking business on an insecure wave.
JP: It is secure, untraceable, unrecordable, for both our protection. You have my word, we can speak freely. Have you been satisfied with the latest delivery?
AT: They took some time to get.. properly conditioned.. but they are doing well.
JP: I've heard you are expanding your business, takes a lot of people to run such an establishment. Do you need more?
AT: We are converting an old opera house. It actually provides decent cover, my more public clients can use their business accounts and no one is the wiser.
JP: I thought out here on the rim people didn't have an issue with morals and such.
AT: Beaumonde is more like the Core than you might think. And here the memories of the war are still fresh out here, and anything that even sounds like slavery could be politically dangerous.
JP: Yes of course, they say the Alliance may have set up the slaver rings themselves, to destabilize the Rim. Such rumors serve us both, or…. well they serve my purposes anyway. The more friction between the Core and Rim, the more for go-betweens like myself.
AT: Yes.. Needless to say, such things are officially frowned upon. My clients require considerable discretion. My servants have papers showing them bound and indentured according to the laws.
JP: Ah yes, nice and legal, but of course for every moral scruple or law on paper, there is an appetite that can match it. That is where we come in.
AT: That is true. I suspect everyone who ought know what is going on knows, they just can't say they know.
JP: I have similar relationship with poliziya on Bernadette. And of course, the Alliance itself is “ignorant of all this.”
AT: (pause) So, you say you may have some more… candidates for employment?
JP: These are a special breed Madam Ah. They have never known freedom, so they are less likely to balk at the most unusual demands. These were children of indentured labor at a mine on Regina. The parents were thrilled to send them away to an Alliance School in the core. They are in for a lesson I am sure. My men can prepare them if you want.
AT: No. Better I do it. You have your uses Josef, but your means are crude.
JP: The Verse is crude my toy.
AT: Fine, how much?
JP: The slave girls will fetch 200 credits each, the boys 150.
AT: How old are the boys?
JP: They could tell you if they could count. I would guess 11 or 12?
AT: (Looking both worried but excited) So young.
JP: Too young for you clientele? That would surprise me.
AT: The penalties if anything were to happen under Alliance law for children are severe.
JP: Surely, your friends in the Alliance could help you.. Colonel.
AT: (She seems a little surprised) I am civilian now. The war is over Mr. Potemkin.
JP: Is it Madam Ah? Are you saying your little post war job was just a lucky break? And your windfall to buy that Opera House… you made that selling the services of a handful of slaves? Don't insult my intelligence. Perhaps some of your old friends from Dàshān 大山 (Great Mountain) (notorious prison) might shed some light on your success. Perhaps the wars has just… changed how you say “theaters.” (laughing)
AT: Mr. Potemkin, you seem to know more than you ought. But, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
JP: Why should I care my Toy? The good citizens of Beaumonde with their independent ways could not do business with the Devil of Dàshān. But, I certainly can. Besides, this arrangement has proven lucrative for you and me both.
AT: Fine. I'll take what you have, but you play a dangerous game Josef. And you don't have your bumbling brother to blame anymore.
JP: Yes…. well that is what brought me here. People will learn what happens when you cross a Potemkin.